I am recently divorced and new to the dating world after 20 years of marriage. I am past my Divorce and happy with where I am at in my life. I am ready to start dating and find someone to spend my time with.

My children encouraged me to go on Social Media – Instagram, Facebook and Tinder. Apparently this is the way to meet and connect with people regardless of your age. Open to anything, I agreed and began to connect with old and new friends. Facebook and Instagram put me in the “know” of things going on and Tinder made me laugh.

I posted my first picture on Instagram and received numerous “likes”. I would be lying if I said that each time a notification appeared on my phone I didn’t feel a surge of emotion. I “liked” the likes and wanted them to keep coming. It was such a bizarre response and I was shocked that it had such an impact on me.

At dinner that night, my kids informed me that my photo need some work. They pulled out their phones and showed me countless photos of their friends, my friends, Insta Influencers, celebrities,etc and showed me how their photos were edited. They took a photo of mine and began to work on it. They made me thinner, gave me cheekbones, changed my nose – I got a full facelift without having to visit a Doctor. Did my new photo look great? You better believe it did. Did I let them post it – ABSOLUTELY NOT!

What has become of our society? How can we trust anything we see? We have this need for perfection when perfection DOES NOT EXIST! Our children think its normal to alter their appearance and have no attachment to the differing images between real life and online. Why are grown women and men in their 50’s making themselves look like teenagers? As I went through Instagram with my new lens it was laughable. Women my age looking like Barbies with non existent waists and no lines on their face? HELLO – I saw you on the street last week and you did NOT look like that. If adults don’t make the connection how can their children?

What I find most disturbing is that young girls who are in that awkward stage feel so much pressure to be visible online that they make their bodies skinner and sexier than they really are. How many more girls today have body and eating issues as a result? Bigger boobs equals more likes. Skinny, Skinny and Ping, Ping the endorphins are firing.

As mothers, our job is to lead by example and teach our kids that its okay to just be you. We should stop trying to be their equals, or their “best friends” – we shouldn’t look like they do in their bikinis and we should stop trying.

So this newly divorced woman will stay on Social Media but my photos will be real. You can choose to “like” my posts if you want but you will see the real me — all 53 years of me. That will include every single line on my face, every bag under my eye and my non flat stomach from having 4 kids. I AM comfortable in my own skin and I want my children and the world to know it.

Jill, 53

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